10 Things You Didn't Know About the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is fighting swine flu.


1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was founded as the Communicable Disease Center on July 1, 1946.

2. The organization descended from the wartime Office of Malaria Control in War Areas and initially focused on fighting malaria by killing mosquitoes.

3. In 1946, the CDC operated out of one floor in a small building in Atlanta; there were fewer than 400 employees, and the budget was $10 million.

4. In 1947, the CDC gave Emory University a token payment of $10 for 15 acres of land in Atlanta that now serves as the agency's headquarters.

5. The CDC headquarters includes the Global Health Odyssey Museum, which is open to visitors and contains disease-related artifacts such as the CDC founder's microscope.

6. The CDC took over publication of the weekly magazine Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report in 1961.

7. The agency was renamed the Center for Disease Control in 1970; "Center" was pluralized in 1980; "and Prevention" was added to the name in 1992.

8. In 1993, David Satcher became the first black director of the CDC. In 2002, Julie Gerberding became the first female director. Richard Besser is currently acting director.

9. Today, the CDC is one of 13 major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services and is one of the largest federal agencies outside the Washington area.

10. The CDC employs nearly 15,000 people in the United States and more than 54 foreign countries. Its budget exceeds $9.2 billion.